Unlike a lot of my friends, I have only had a few jobs in my 16 year professional career. Some in the Silicon Valley see this stability as a red flag, I see it as a badge of honor! This blog (and several seminars that I conduct) impassion the need for companies to foster culture. The premise of the economy stifling the hiring process may help control HR budgets, but truly talented people always have options. So, this week I figured I would flip the script and advise the employee. It is true that HR needs to create engaging programs, but at some point, employees need to carry the torch.
Making a career change is one of the most difficult processes anyone has to navigate. I had the good fortune to make an educated choice a year ago. Here is what I have learned in my first year of employment at the world's most awesome company.
Hard Work Still Works
We can look back at our professional failures and pin point areas where we could have done more. While it is never wise to confuse effort with results, those who work hard (and smart) always find a way to win. Indeed, if you are the first one at the office and the last to leave; success is immanent.
Learn to Read People
Every company has the can-do, super-energized, bastions of empowerment: Believe in them, follow them, and help them grow the company in their likeness. Every company has the excuse-making, self-important, spoilers of motivation: Ignore them and they will go away. We have to accept the good and the bad in every company and learn to navigate accordingly. While I am not one to posture, it is important to know where to spend your energy.
Study Your Audience
In this day-and-age of the educated consumer; traditional selling is dead. People don't want to be cold-called, they don't want to hear slick talk, and they don't need you re-iterating what they just read on-line. Sales people should not go to seminars to sit among other sales people. You should go where your audience is, sit by their side, and learn their issues.
Trust me, it is far more important to be seen as a peer than someone who is selling something!
Believe in What You Do!
The blogosphere is run amok with smart asses. I know because I am one of them. We challenge convention, insult the uninventive and call out stifled creativity. This cannot be the way we conduct ourselves in the workplace.
My friend Steve Browne is a breath of fresh air because he combats the skeptics with unwavering positivity. He simply refuses to let the bastards grind him down. People like Steve are proof that one person can make a difference.
If you do not empower those who complain, they will stop complaining.
If you transform complaints into action items, you will make progress.
If you believe in what you are doing, people will jump on your back and take the journey with you.
Some people will run out of professional options. This will cause compromise which will lead to the hating of one's life. Don't let that happen!
Move forward every day. Pay attention to the people who are doing extraordinary things. Ignore those who seek to destroy progress.
Don't Forget to Remember!